About Dr. Mason

Dr. Derritt Mason is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary, where he teaches and researches at the intersection of children’s and young adult literature, media and cultural studies, and gender and sexuality. He is the author of Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and Culture and the co-editor of Queer as Camp: Essays on Summer, Style, and Sexuality, which reached #1 on the Calgary Herald bestseller list. For his current research on young people and digital culture, Dr. Mason was awarded a 2019 Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Mason has given public talks, lectures, and keynotes at local and international venues including the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Teacher Education, the Institute for Research on Digital Learning, the Galt Museum and Archives, the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, and Calgary Public Libraries. He has been interviewed by CBC Radio and The Globe and Mail, among others. Dr. Mason is also an executive board member of the Children’s Literature Association and Vice President of the Association for Research in Cultures of Young People.

For more information, speaking engagement and/or media inquiries, please email info@derrittmason.com.

UCalgary Profile


September 1, 2020

Dr. Mason’s latest essay, “What Having Two Mommies Looks Like Now: Queer Picture Books in the Twenty-First Century,” has been published as part of the collection Literary Cultures and Twenty-First-Century Childhoods.

May 6, 2020

Dr. Mason is delighted to announce that his forthcoming book, Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and Culture, is now available for pre-order through all major online retailers (including Amazon and Barnes & Noble). Until May 30, it can be purchased at a 30% discount ($21 USD) through the University Press of Mississippi by clicking here. The book can also be purchased through its Canadian distributor, UBC Press, and internationally via Eurospan. Dr. Mason also encourages buyers to support independent booksellers whenever possible.

April 25, 2020

Dr. Mason and his Queer as Camp collaborator, Kenneth B. Kidd, are pleased to announce that they are seeking contributors to their new project: an edited collection of essays tentatively entitled Alt KidLit: What Children’s Literature Has Been, Never Was, and Might Yet Be. Please click here for more information and the official call for proposals.

March 25, 2020

Due to the unfortunate circumstances arising from COVID-19, Dr. Mason’s upcoming talks at Western University, MIT, and QGCon have all been cancelled or postponed. Please stay tuned for rescheduled dates, and in the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

March 4, 2020

Dr. Mason will be presenting his paper “How to Fail at Caper in the Castro: Gaming, Young Adult Literature, and HIV/AIDS” at the Queerness and Games Conference in Montreal, QC (May 23-24, 2020).

February 26, 2020

Invited by the Institute for Research on Digital Learning at York University, Dr. Mason will be presenting a lecture on “The Virtual Child” on March 3, 2020.

February 15, 2020

Dr. Mason is organizing a panel for the 2021 convention of the Modern Language Association, to be held in Toronto, Ontario, from January 7-10. The panel is entitled “Theorizing the Child for the Twenty-First Century,” and interested participants/attendees can get more information by clicking here. Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2020.

January 18, 2020

Dr. Mason will be sharing research from his latest project, “The Virtual Child: Children’s Literature and Digital Culture,” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, MA on March 30, 2020. Dr. Mason’s lecture is featured as part of the “Digital Lit @ MIT” speaker series.

January 13, 2020

Dr. Mason is honoured to be a keynote speaker at “Camp/camp: The Collision of Style and Biopolitics,” the 22nd annual graduate student conference hosted by the Centre for the Study of Theory & Criticism, Comparative Literature, and Hispanic Studies at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada from March 26-28, 2020.

January 1, 2020

derrittmason.com is live! Thanks for visiting. This section will be updated regularly with event, publication, and media news. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback about the site, please send us an email.



Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and Culture. University Press of Mississippi, 2021.

Queer as Camp: Essays on Summer, Style, and Sexuality. Co-edited with Kenneth B. Kidd. Fordham University Press, 2019.

Journal Issues

Hysteria Manifest: Cultural Lives of a Great Disorder.” Co-edited with Ela Przybylo. English Studies in Canada 40.1, 2014.


What Having Two Mommies Looks Like Now: Queer Picture Books in the Twenty-First Century.” In Literary Cultures and Twenty-First-Century Childhoods. Palgrave, 2020

When Everything Feels Like the Horror Movies: The Ghostliness of Queer Youth Futurity.” Co-written with Joshua Whitehead. In Research on Diversity in Youth Literature 2.1, 2019.

The Earnest Elfin Dream Gay.” In Public Books, 9 Nov. 2018.

“Vulnerable Fictions: Queer Youth, Storytelling, and Narratives of Victimization.” In Fictionalizing the World: Rethinking the Politics of Literature. Peter Lang, 2016.

The Queer Art of Imperfection.” In English Studies in Canada 39.2-1, 2013.

On Children’s Literature and the (Im)Possibility of It Gets Better.” In English Studies in Canada 38.3-4, 2012.

Raising Jack Perverse: On Childhood, Perversity, and James Hearne’s Case.” In Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 3.1, 2011.


The Trouble with Going Gaga.” In Reviews in Cultural Theory 4.1, 2013.

Of Ghosts and Gay Youth.” In Journal of LGBT Youth 8.3, 2011.

Research Awards & Grants

“The Virtual Child: Children’s Literature and Digital Culture.” Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, $39,420, 2019-2021 (Primary Investigator).

Wayne O. McCready Fellowship for an Emerging Scholar, Calgary Institute for the Humanities, 2019-2020.

“Children’s Non-Literature and Online Narrative Communities.” Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty Seed Grant, University of Calgary, $15,000, 2017-2018 (Primary Investigator).



Dr. Mason’s primary teaching and graduate supervision responsibilities at the University of Calgary involve topics related to Children’s and Young Adult Literature. His other areas of interest include gender, sexuality, and cultural/media studies. Dr. Mason is also actively involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning, which influences his teaching style and course design. Recent research on inquiry-based learning, for example, has been central to Dr. Mason’s pedagogy.

Click here for Dr. Mason’s:

Undergraduate Courses

  • Approaches to Literature (ENGL 201): First-year English course for 60 non-majors.
  • Literature for Young People (ENGL 396): Elective, 150 students.
  • LGBTQ Children’s Literature (ENGL 389): Elective, 75 students.
  • Advanced Studies in Young Adult Literature (ENGL 472): Upper-year English course, 40 students.
  • Dystopian Young Adult Literature (ENGL 517): Upper-year English seminar, 25 students.
  • The Virtual Child (ENGL 523): Seminar on children’s digital texts and culture, 15 students.

Graduate Courses

  • Narrating the Queerness of Youth (ENGL 607, fall 2015)
  • The Virtual Child (ENGL 607, winter 2018)
  • Queer Young Adult Literature and Theory (ENGL 607, fall 2019)

For complete course syllabi, please click the link at the bottom of this page.

Educational Leadership & Innovation

“‘Let’s Play’ Videos in the Classroom.” Principles and Practices of Student Assessment, 25 July 2018.

Literary Inquiry Projects.Principles and Practices of Student Assessment, 23 July 2018.

Graduate seminar showcases new approaches to digital posters.” UToday, 28 June 2018.

Teaching Awards & Grants

Faculty of Arts Award for Outstanding Early Career Teacher, University of Calgary, 2020

“The Virtual Child: Teaching and Learning with Digital Texts for Young People.” Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, $30,000, 2017-2019 (Primary Investigator).

“A Closer Look at Close Reading.” Lesson Study Grant, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, $14,950, 2017-2019 (Co-Investigator).



Dr. Mason regularly shares his research and expertise with diverse audiences at a range of venues, from academic conferences to professional development workshops for educators to public speaker series. He is able to speak on topics related to children’s and young adult literature, youth media and culture, and gender and sexuality studies. For media inquiries and/or more information about booking Dr. Mason for your event, please send him an email.

Upcoming Events

Dr. Mason’s upcoming events have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. Updated information will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.

Selected Past Events


“Playing with Failure: Young People’s Culture and the Media Ecologies of HIV/AIDS.” Presented at Queer Youth Doing Queer History: Memory, Museums, and the (Re)Making of Place, Galt Museum and Archives, 18 Oct. 2019

Invited Lectures and Public Talks

“The Virtual Child: Children’s Literature and Digital Culture.” McCready Fellow Lecture, Calgary Institute for the Humanities, 5 Nov. 2019. Revised and updated version presented at the Institute for Research on Digital Learning, York University (4 Mar. 2020).

“Queer Visibility in Media for Young People: Two Case Studies.” Presented at the Department of Teacher Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (21 Aug. 2019) and the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature (22 Feb. 2018).

“Why We Like Harry Potter: A Muggle’s Guide.” Presented at Calgary Central Library, 4 Apr. 2019.

“Queering/Querying the English Language Arts.” Presented at Inside Out: Sexual and Gender Diversity in the English Language Arts Classroom, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, 11 Mar. 2017.

“A Phallic Dog, a Stuffed Coyote, and the Boy Who Won’t Come Out: Revisiting Queer Visibility in Young Adult Fiction.” Presented at the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures, University of Winnipeg, 5 May 2015.

Book Launches

Queer as Camp book launch, with Joshua Whitehead and a drag performance by Molly Poppins, in Toronto (Glad Day Bookshop, 10 May 2019).

Queer as Camp and Death Threat book launches, with Vivek Shraya, in Edmonton (Peter Robinson Gallery, 30 May) and Calgary (Central Library, 22 May 2019).

Queer as Camp book launch in Trondheim, Norway (Litteraturhuset i Trondheim, 22 Aug. 2019).

Poster Gallery



Radio & Podcasts

“Why, after 20 years, is Harry Potter Still Going Strong?” Alberta@Noon with Judy Aldous. CBC Radio, 29 June 2017. Listen here (segment begins at 28:50)

“Witch, Please! Live and Scholarly at the U of C.” Witch, Please podcast with Marcelle Kosman & Hannah McGregor, 22 Mar. 2016. Listen here.


Vivek Shraya and Derritt Mason launch new works in Edmonton.” Charlie Crittenden, Daze Magazine, 29 May 2019.

What’s the Price of Invisibility? Changing Perceptions of Gender Through Representation in Art.” Jane Chamberlin, Explore UCalgary, 1 Feb. 2019.

Graduate seminar showcases a new approach to digital posters.” Mike Thorn, UToday, 28 June 2018.

Innocence lost? Studying kids’ stories to better understand how to teach them.” Jennifer Alford, Explore UCalgary, 1 Nov. 2017.

Rise of the Teaching Class.” Simona Chiose, The Globe and Mail, 6 Oct. 2015.